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Happy Independence Day!

July 4th, 2008

Gadsden FlagDon’t let me take you away from your 4th of July celebrations, but when you have some spare time, sit back and read the Declaration of Independence again. In fact, read as much American Revolutionary history as you like. Its fascinating stuff; full of smugglers and privateers (pirates!).

It’s not something you hear about terribly much, but for nearly half of our country’s existence, we employed privateer ships as part of our naval force. In fact, both sides of the conflict used privateers during the Civil War. Countries with a large naval power refused to recognize privateers as prisoners of war when captured and treated them as common pirates.

What’s my point in all of this? I don’t really have one except to remind you that the price for independence was paid in a large part by privateers, smugglers and first and second generation transportees. We’ve put on a lot of airs in the past two centuries, but when you get down to it, most of us are just plain folks.

Like my flag? Chris Whitten has an excellent article on the history of the Gadsden flag.

Now get outside and blow something up! If the neighbors come out to yell at you, I’m not saying you should hit em with a bottle rocket, but a warning shot across their bow might be in order.

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